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Public A Case of Mistaken Identity (Or Maybe Not?)

Val Drutin

The Maladjusted Jester
Character
At the food court of a spaceport on the edge of GA/NIO space, Val watched in mute fascination as the man sitting across from him produced one of those promotional Big Gulp cups they sell at holotheaters from his bag, followed by a bottle of gin and another bottle of tonic. The man hummed contentedly to himself as he first poured a small amount of tonic, then proceeded to dump the entire bottle of gin into the cup. While the booze was sloshing into the cheap plastic container, bubbles popping in the upturned bottle, Val's eyes slowly widened. Once the bottle was emptied, the man poured another small amount of tonic to top it off, then took an enormous gulp.

"Ah," he said, apparently refreshed. "Now, let's get down to business. I told you I wanted to go to Weik."

Val started to sweat. He had been to Weik not too long ago. The experience had been a poor one and involved him accidentally switching bodies with his brother Alyosha. "...It's in Wild Space."

The man jiggled, his eyes wide in mockery. "I know that. Did you think I didn't know that?"

"Why would you want to go there? Isn’t it just farmland and feudalism?"

"I have very important business ventures planned there!" the fat man insisted, exasperatedly cutting the table with his hand to emphasize every syllable. "There are untapped natural resources buried just beneath the planet's surface. Not to mention that it's a Force Nexus! Can you imagine the tourism profit that could be generated there for gullible Jedi and stupid Sith looking to have some kind of life-changing spiritual experience? Did you bother to do any research at all?..."

But Val had become distracted, his dark eyes staring off dazedly into space.

“Hello?” The man snapped his fingers in the pilot’s face. “Anybody home? Pay attention!”

“I sense something. A presence I have not felt since…” Well, since Weik. Val abruptly snapped out of his daze and leaped out of his seat. “Sorry, I’ve got to go!”

“What? But—”

But Val was already weaving through the crowds of travelers. Given the theatrical costume he was wearing, he stuck out like a sore thumb, but despite the stares and rubbernecking from passerby he eventually made it to the hangar reserved for private vessels. Even then, the journey had taken some time—and he could tell something was wrong.

Finding the bay he was looking for, he peered through the window. The place was swarming with cops—NIO people, from the looks of it. They were surrounding the perimeter of the Harlock, his brother Alyosha’s eccentric old freighter, their weapons trained on the loading ramp as it slowly descended.

“Oh Yoshi, what did you get yourself into now?...”

This is technically a setup to introduce the Drutin brothers to the NIO, but as always I am open to other story opportunities as well. This is primarily a comedic thread, so don't take it too seriously. Or do, if that strikes your fancy.
 
The Bionic Commando
Character
Out of everything she could have been given, why was it perimeter sweeping? Aerith could only grumble to herself as she did another pass of the shuttle port, wondering who in their right might would assign the chain gunner to perimeter patrol; seriously she had the biggest gun on the squad, why did they put her outside? It was whatever at this point, but she was disgruntled about this slight. It was made even worse that this was an absolute waste of her potential. It was probably because she was new. Back in the Empire she was actually someone to be feared and respected, but here...she was a literal no one. She'd have to work even harder to get away from that reputation.

As she rounded the corner she spotted a man positioned by the window, though he didn't appear armed, he very well could have been an associate of the criminal in captivity. It wasn't much, but it was some sort of action. It was going to have to do. She leveled her chain gun towards the man, letting the barrels start to churn as she was merely aiming to get his attention. "Hey, stop what you are doing and get on the ground!" She then realized her dilemma, if she opened fire she was going to immediately kill him, when they were supposed to take everyone alive. She frowned under her storm-trooper guise, now Aerith stood there, awkwardly shuffling towards the man, hoping he wouldn't take off cause then she would have to chase him.

Val Drutin Val Drutin
 

Val Drutin

The Maladjusted Jester
Character
Wearing: Albrecht Costume
Wielding: Val Drutin’s lightsaber

Val sensed the approaching trooper and turned to face her even before she spoke. From a front angle she would be able to see that he was in fact armed with a lightsaber, which was hooked on his right hip. Otherwise, he appeared quite innocuous… er, well, maybe that wasn’t the right word to describe a strange young man running around in tights. Passive was probably more accurate. And he certainly bore no visible signs of Dark Side corruption, though a Force sensitive would be able to detect its chaotic taint in him.

“Hey!” he exclaimed, offended by the female trooper’s brashness. “I haven’t done anything but look out a window!”

When the woman continued to move closer to him, her gun pointed at him, he reacted. The Force rippled around Aerith Castiella Aerith Castiella as he pushed her back, then turned tail and ran in the opposite direction, determined to lose her and help his brother escape whatever circumstances had led to this.

***

Meanwhile, the troops surrounding the Harlock had begun shouting orders through a megaphone directed at the lowered ramp.

“All right, everyone get out of the ship with their hands up! No sudden movements, or we will not hesitate to open fire!”

The troops were armed with weapons designed to stun, not to kill. Most of them were clad head to toe in armor, but the head inspector was not wearing a helmet. He was hit by a blast of smoke emanating from inside the ship as he drew near the ramp, which he had initially taken for exhaust, but now he noticed it had a vaguely sweet, herbal smell. He frowned, wondering why he suddenly felt hungry.

Out of the fog emerged a male figure, his hands obediently in the air. Blue-skinned and dark-haired, the man might have been considered handsome under different circumstances, but today he looked haggard and forlorn. On his way down the ramp he broke into a coughing fit, hacking up his lungs into the crook of his elbow, then sniffed, cleared his throat, and finally made it to the bottom.

The inspector frowned. This man did not match the photos he had seen of the suspect. “State your name for the record,” he said.

Theo Vathek,” the blue man rasped. He was still coughing a little, thumping his chest with one hand while the other remained raised in the air. “I’m the pilot of this hunk uh junk. I called here for help ahead of time, y’know—the captain’s really sick. But none of these guys look like doctors, so what’s goin’ on…?”

“We’re not here for you,” the inspector replied dryly. “We’re here for Alyosha Drutin.”

“I called him in sick,” Theo insisted, jerking his thumb back toward the ship. “He’s lyin’ in bed now, white as a sheet, sweatin’ like crazy. He needs a doctor, nurses, medical droids, the whole shebang. How can you arrest a man as sick as he is?”

“There is an outstanding warrant for Alyosha Drutin’s arrest,” the inspector said, still in the same disaffected monotone. “He has been charged with drug possession, the smuggling of illegal contraband, and murder in the first degree. If he is ill, he will receive medical attention—but from the comfort of his cell.” Motioning to the troops, he sent them inside the ship.

Theo watched them go, grimacing. “Ah hell,” he muttered. “Well, chit. Mister, uh, whatever you are, you should probably know now—Alyosha isn’t just sick. He’s overdosed. Raided my stash of death sticks and shot up the whole thing in one go.”

The inspector’s expression did not change. “Drutin’s records mentioned no previous illicit drug use.”

“That’s just it, though. He’s not a user, and yet he just imbibed my entire stash.” Theo sighed. “Something happened to him out there on Corstris. He wouldn’t talk to me about it, but it must’ve fethed him up real bad. He’s got the Force, too—I think he wants to numb it, get rid of it somehow or another.”

“I don’t think that’s possible.”

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And man, does Alyosha have a will…”

While the two of them conversed, the troops began filing back out of the ship. Between them they dragged the unconscious form of Alyosha Drutin. If Theo looked like he had seen better days, Alyosha looked like he was already on death’s doorstep. It was plain even to the glacial inspector that the ship’s captain needed nothing less than hospital care, not a medical droid monitoring him in jail.

“Get him to the infirmary at once,” he ordered. As the troops marched off, the inspector turned to Theo. “As for you, Mr. Vathek, I believe there is in fact a warrant under your name as well. Gentlemen, arrest this man.”

The remaining troops moved to grab Theo, who complained loudly. “Hey, hey! Watch it! Dammit, this is the last time I play the good samaritan—” A pair of cuffs snapped over his wrists. “Come on, you don’t have to do that! I’ll cooperate, I’ll come willingly—!”

He continued to protest all the way out of the hangar, though his language was by then laced with unprintable profanity directed at everyone and everything around him.
 
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